The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch

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“Twilight, I’m scared,” Scootaloo said, her words almost a whimper as she buried her face into Twilight’s neck, “about everything. About what is about to happen… about Rainbow… and if you still love me… it’s stupid, I know… you’re right here holding me—”

“I spoke out of anger,” Twilight broke in, “for that, I’m sorry. You have no idea how much worry and panic that all of you caused. Rainbow Dash got sick… Applejack almost lost her mind. Rarity went into a full blown meltdown… and then, after everything, I get a stern talking to that you’ve gotten yourself involved in something that there is no backing down from. There is no turning back, no turning away, there is no going home.” Twilight’s voice became choked and she had to fight back a sob. “So… you need to be brave… and you need to be awesome… just like Rainbow Dash… do you understand me? You need to be the friend that the others can depend upon… be the bold little pegasus that I know you can be.”

Twilight Sparkle sucked in a deep breath, held it until it began to hurt, and then let it out as she spoke the words that still needed to be said. “You are going to need all that bravery and all that awesomeness… because when you come home, and you will be coming home, don’t you even doubt that for a second, my troublesome little filly… you are going to be in so much trouble. There is going to be one very upset alicorn and two very angry pegasi waiting for you to return to us… and we are going to make you wish that you had never left.”

“That seems fair,” Scootaloo replied, glad for a moment of comfort with Twilight.

There was a soft knocking on the door and Twilight looked up from her bunk on The Scorned Mare. “We don’t wish to be bothered right now.”

“Twilight, I have news about Rainbow Dash,” Shining Armor said through the door.

“Come in.” Twilight watched the door and waited, almost holding her breath.

Shining Armor’s projection stuck his head in through the now opened door. “Twilight, you can relax. Rainbow Dash is fine… as it turns out, it was a severe case of indigestion, a bit of stress, and a terrible case of backed up gas with constipation. The stomach pains are all accounted for and Rainbow Dash is fine… so is the foal.”

Twilight, without even realising she was doing so, squeezed Scootaloo so hard that the foal let out a whistling wheeze. After a moment, Twilight relaxed a little and Scootaloo was able to breathe again.

“Rainbow Dash had to suffer the indignities of an upper colonic because of all the festival food she ate… as it turns out, engaging in an eating contest involving deep fried cheese sticks while you are pregnant is a terrible idea. Who knew?” Shining Armor gave his sister a reassuring smile.

“So she’s okay?” Scootaloo asked, needing to hear the words again.

“As okay as can be expected, given the circumstances. She ate several pounds of deep fried beer battered cheese. From what I understand, the Ponyville Hospital has her in the quarantine wing, locked in a room with an advanced ventilation system designed to filter toxic contaminants out of the air,” Shining Armor replied.

Twilight Sparkle gave her brother a wry, reluctant smile.

“Rainbow Dash can clear a room in ten seconds flat,” Scootaloo said.

“Oh, trust me, I know all about pegasi.” Shining Armor bowed his head, smiled, and then shut the door, leaving Twilight and Scootaloo alone together.

“This changes nothing,” Twilight said in a low menacing whisper before Scootaloo could even open her mouth, “when you come home, you are still so very dead.

Frightened, Scootaloo let out a little squeal followed by, “Okay.”

 

 

“So you had started your year of being blind?” Diamond Tiara asked, wanting to know more about what Moonbow had been up to. She lay beside the much larger, much bulkier filly. Moonbow had grown a great deal since they had last seen one another.

“Yeah… and because of some dimwitted colt getting in trouble, Mistress has decided to punish me... when I get back, I have to start all over from the beginning,” Moonbow replied. Craning her head and her neck, Moonbow focused upon Sentinel and gave him the stinkeye, staring him down until at last, Sentinel turned away, unable to meet Moonbow’s gaze.

“Yes… the dimwitted colt… the source of much of our frustration, fear, doubt, and dread. The reason that all three of us are here… it wasn’t enough that he had to ruin his life, he had to ruin ours as well… because of the dimwitted colt, I now have a second heart beating in the middle of my plot crack, and I fear I may never be able to sit down ever again.” Diamond Tiara turned her head and scowled at Sentinel, hoping that he would feel it since he wasn’t looking.

“Yeah, Twilight got you a good one… no doubt because you’re expected to be the one to talk the dimwitted colt out of trouble. I bet you’ll be feeling that for weeks.”

“I won’t be needing a blanket tonight, that’s for certain… my arse is on fire!” Diamond Tiara’s scowl intensified.

“Twilight got me too… right on the back of my right thigh… well, she got me in several places, but those don’t hurt much… but the back of my thigh is tender… and Diamond Tiara is absolutely right, I will not need a blanket, I have the enormous welt on my leg that is radiating heat to keep me warm… well, that and thoughts of revenge against Sentinel. Somepony has to pay for this travesty.” Boadicea’s black eyes narrowed and she focused her predatory stare upon the colt that was the cause of all of this. “Hey, asshole, you do know that you are going to spend the rest of your life paying for this, right?”

“Yeah,” Diamond Tiara chimed in, “whenever there is a diaper that needs changing, we’re going to remind you of the time that you pulled this boneheaded stunt that got us all wing slapped by Twilight ‘Hot Crossed Buns’ Sparkle!”

“Princess Celestia came to speak with all of the Myrmidons in training and she regaled us with the tale of the time that she wing slapped Buckminster and Rising Star. I think it is a point of pride for alicorns to wing slap ponies that they truly love and care about, just like pegasi—”

“Only it hurts a whole lot more!” Boadicea said and then punctuated her words with a pained squawk. “I’ve been wing slapped a few times by Yew Wood… and I thought Yew was gifted! As it turns out, me and my welt both agree that Twilight’s wing slapping skill is vastly superiour.”

“I named my welts Sentinel One and Sentinel Two… and both of them are pains in my arse.” Diamond Tiara’s scowl devolved into a dark, fuming stare and her blue eyes narrowed.

“You know, I could spend the rest of my life doing this.” Boadicea’s head bobbed in a manner most avian and her crest rose. “Just the three of us… together… never, ever letting Sentinel hear the end of this.”

Curled into a miserable ball, Sentinel moaned.

 

 

Dinky, laying beside Sweetie Belle, tried to ignore the throbbing pain that existed in several places. Laying down was the only way to get comfortable, sitting down was out of the question for both she and Sweetie Belle. In front of the two fillies, a spellbook from the library of The Scorned Mare lay open.

“You’re good with telekinesis, just like your sister. That’s your strong point, Sweetie. This is a beam spell, it is a whole bunch of little tiny telekinesis beads all strung together, one right after another. If you focus them all in one spot, you can do a lot of damage. It also generates friction and heat. I have strong telekinesis too.” Dinky gave Sweetie a soft nudge with her elbow.

“I can perform a basic zap spell… Sunset Shimmer said I was pretty good at it,” Sweetie Belle said to Dinky as they both looked into the book together. “I can also make fire, boil water, and freeze stuff… but I’m not very good.”

“I don’t have an elemental attunement.” Dinky shrugged. “I used to be mad about it, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m a mentalist. I’m not element focused because my magic is attuned to the mind. I’ll never be gifted at fireballs, but I have strong telekinesis and other mental spells.”

“My mother has strong telekinesis, Rarity has it, and I have it. It took me a while to realise that what my mother does and Rarity does is not normal… my mother bakes and her speciality is cookies. She can levitate dozens and dozens of items all around the kitchen, all at once. Rarity can do the same thing, but with sewing stuff… and now I’m starting to be able to levitate a whole bunch of stuff.” Sweetie Belle paused, turned her head, and looked at Dinky. “I think I might go into nursing… or maybe even be a doctor… with my telekinesis, I could put ponies back together if they get hurt… my cutie mark says that I can mend broken hearts… maybe I can mend actual hearts as well… I dunno… that is all still a long ways away. But Rarity is teaching me to sew with the hopes that I’ll be a surgeon.”

“Sweetie Belle?”

“What?”

“Do you really think that you’ll be happy with the boring life of being a nurse after having all of these adventures?” Dinky asked.

Heaving a sigh, Sweetie Belle shook her head. “Probably not. But the one time I mentioned to my sister that I thought becoming a Black Cloak might be fun, Rarity screamed until she fainted and Coco had to revive her with the smelling salts. When Rarity woke up, she screamed until she fainted again… now, I only bring up sensible careers, my sister’s nerves can’t take the idea that I might be in danger.”

“I want to be a Black Cloak, I think. I want to use my magic for good. I want to do good things and defend ponies. More than anything, I want to be remembered as a powerful wizard that did good… I want it so bad… it is all I can think about.” Dinky closed her eyes, drew in a deep breath, and then let it out in a huff. Opening her eyes, she stared down at the book and stared at an arcane diagram that she had already spent hours staring at.

“I just want to make hurting ponies stop hurting,” Sweetie Belle said in a low voice.

 

 

“You okay, ‘Bloom?” Piña asked. Apple Bloom was staring down at her plate but not eating, causing Piña to worry. For a moment, as Piña looked at Apple Bloom, the filly shimmered, a horn and wings appeared, then, after a second, they vanished. Piña blinked to clear her vision.

“When I was asleep earlier, I had weird dreams… I’m having a hard time rememberin’ it, but Sentinel was in it… there was a pony… a really weird pony… I can’t remember if this pony was male or female, and when I try to think about it, it makes my head hurt,” Apple Bloom replied. She looked up from her plate and stared at Piña.

“I have weird dreams too… but I have a spirit of knowledge lodged inside of me.” Piña shrugged. “It’s kinda expected.”

“Sentinel and I were placed on this really big scale… like the scales they have in front of the courthouse. He was on one side and I was on the other and that really weird pony in my dream that I can’t seem to remember said that he and I exist to strike a balance for something that is broken… but if Sentinel and I work together, we can fix it… or, we could ruin it.” Apple Bloom pushed her half eaten plate of food away. “The dream was real scary… I keep thinking about it and feeling nervous.”

“You and Sentinel both are going to have a lot of crap dumped on you. You’re a Princess of Equestria and Sentinel is going to be a Prince… both of you are going to grow up together. It’s good that you’re friends now… you’ll be able to trust each other when you get older and politics starts getting a lot more backstabby. Sentinel will always be there for you.” Piña blinked her blue eyes and gave Apple Bloom a reassuring smile.

“I think that’s why I’m here,” Apple Bloom said to Piña, her voice low, “if I was in trouble, Sentinel would come running to help me… he said that every knight must serve a princess… and that when he became a knight, he wanted to serve me. I thought it was silly at the time, but now… now… I think I understand how serious all of this is.”

“We’re about to go and cut down Grandpa.” Piña set down a glowing red horn upon the table, dropping it from her fetlock. “Apple Bloom, this is going to be a defining moment of your princesshood.” Piña tapped on the horn a few times with the edge of her hoof. “You, an earth pony, are going to be one of the ponies responsible putting an end to the single greatest threat that exists against Equestria.”

“I never looked at it that way,” Apple Bloom replied.

Piña grinned and then picked up the glowing red horn. “Amaranth told me that a fire burns within all of us… a special fire… and that we are going to light the way to the future…”

 

 

 

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